UnPluggd 5 – July 7, 2012

We are attending UnPluggd 5 in Bangalore. This is a great opportunity for startups and technology enthusiasts in India to huddle together.

More About UnPluggd

Meet India’s promising startups/entrepreneurs at Unpluggd on 7th July at Bangalore.

At the heart of every great business is an idea, a leader, a vision and most importantly – unmatched execution.

At Unpluggd, we bring stories of how entrepreneurs brought new perspectives to problems, industry, employees and community. The executional challenges, roller coaster rides and importantly the jugaad element : all of this + demo of India’s most promising technology startups.

Of course, UnPluggd, as always, would be an awesome opportunity to meet the others in the startup ecosystem – be it investors, geeks, potential hires, CXO or fellow entrepreneurs.

When: 7th July, 2012. Saturday, 9 AM to 6 PM.

Where: MLR Convention Center, Brigade Millennium Campus, 7th Phase J.P.Nagar, Bangalore – 560 078.

URL: http://www.pluggd.in/unpluggd

Time to show love & cheer for Indian Startups. Register at  http://www.pluggd.in/unpluggd/block-your-unpluggd-seat/

 

The curious case of Facebook Video Calling

FB Video Calling Application LogoFacebook recently launched Video Calling (only one-to-one) in partnership with Skype at http://www.facebook.com/videocalling. Yes, you guessed it right! This was the page URL of our fast growing Video Calling application that Facebook disabled, without any explanation ofcourse, on April 7th. Clearly this had nothing to do with any policy violation. Facebook wanted the URL for itself and went ahead and disabled an application demonstrating its one-upmanship attitude in dealing with situations.

When we tried to understand the reasons for this action, a generic email was sent which basically read this:

This app pre-fills user´s message and this is not allowed according to our Policies (point IV.2): “You must not pre-fill any of the fields associated with the following products, unless the user manually generated the content earlier in the workflow: Stream stories (user_message parameter for Facebook.streamPublish and FB.Connect.streamPublish, and message parameter for stream.publish), Photos (caption), Videos (description), Notes (title and content), Links (comment), and Jabber/XMPP.

We recommend you to fix this and re-launch again the app. Also, in order to avoid bad user´s feedback, we recommend you to monitor user reports and be sure to comply with all Facebook Principles and Policies (http://developers.facebook.com/policy/).

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A case for productized services – why a pure services play is not always awesome

Mark Suster (@msuster) has written a very insightful post (What Should You Do with Your Crappy Little Services Business?) on his blog. If you haven’t read it already, you should. He sums up with the following advice.

I’m not advocating that companies are crazy to try and be product companies. In fact, that’s all that I fund as a VC. But I don’t want the narrow world of venture-backed companies and the trade rags that report on them to dissuade the overwhelming masses of potential entrepreneurs from building meaningful businesses that are both fun and economically rewarding.

Basab Pradhan (@basabp), further extends Mark’s post here, where he suggests that services companies never need to find a product strategy “given their lack of skills and management experience of the products business“. Rightly so considering he is mainly referring to the offshore services business.

There is, however, an interesting case for product companies (particularly early stage technology companies) to have a services focus to solve the cash problem. I call it productized services, and this is exactly what we do at Samuday. This is particularly relevant if you are not VC-funded and need to build high quality products with sustained revenue stream. If you are an India based technology company, this might be even more relevant.

Early stage technology companies that are aiming to build high quality products have a tough life in India. Indian VCs mostly invest in e-commerce driven (technology) companies, so funding is scarce for pure technology players. Indian customers have a slightly misplaced definition of technology, thanks to the plenty of offshore/outsourced/software services companies. Several potential customers do not appreciate the difference in technology capability for building a website as against building a real-time communication and collaboration solution. Anything delivered through a website falls in the same league. This leads to a perception problem where your product may not be valued at what it deserves, posing a challenge in building sustainable revenue streams.

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